A look back at Laurel History - 8/24/17

Eight hundred attend meeting before teachers’ strike
Outlook managing editor

25 years ago

Aug. 26, 1992

Laurel teachers vote to go on strike. The high price of a strike situation was underlined Monday night when a Laurel School Board trustee collapsed shortly after the close of two hours of an unscheduled public forum at the regular board meeting. Trustee Merrill Watkins was treated at the scene for apparent heart trouble by the Laurel Volunteer Ambulance services. Watkins’ collapse came minutes after the majority of nearly 800 people had left the high school auditorium, the site of a hastily organized public forum and seemed to foreshadow the strike vote by the Laurel Unified Education Association Tuesday.

A Joliet teen narrowly escaped serious injury when he fell more than 30 feet to the bottom of a rocky cliff northwest of Laurel. According to Assistant Chief for the Laurel Volunteer Fire Department, Earl Linger, the department received a call that someone had fallen off the cliff in an area locally known as Nature’s Crack. Linger said that by coincidence he had been checking a burned area on Clapper Fat about a quarter of a mile away when the call came in. He drove to the rims but could see no vehicle. After walking to the edge of the cliff, Linger was able to see the victim, 17-year-old Luke Pilahja, lying in the rocks at the bottom of the 70-90 foot cliff. He said he established voice contact and then hiked down to the victim. Linger stayed with the youth until other help arrived. Yellowstone County Deputy Jerry Anderson said that Pilahja and at least seven other teens had been climbing on the rocks on the face of the cliff. Anderson said Pilahja sustained a broken foot and cuts and contusions to his head.

Births were announced for Kristi Jean Kraft, Kyle Louis Hamburg and Ashley Danielle Linger.


50 years ago

Aug. 30, 1967

Mrs. Tom Kress was honored recently when Mrs. Steven Slater of Laurel and Mrs. Richard Lohof and Mrs. Clifford Amundsen of Joliet entertained at a surprise baby shower at the honoree’s home. Attending were mrs. Lloyd Webber and Mrs. Curt Cammack of Billings, Mrs. James Hatten, Jr., of Joliet and Mrs. Tom Altman, Mrs. Brent Noel, and Mrs. Bob Strand, all of Laurel.

Only five violations netted $125 this past week in the Laurel Police Court of W.A. Menello. Thomas Southworth, 18, of Laurel paid a total of $51 on two different counts. Southworth paid $39 for exceeding the speed limit and $12 on a loud pipes charge. His car was impounded until the muffler is corrected and his driver’s license was suspended for 10 days.

Over-all enrollment in the Laurel schools is up slightly from last year, L.A. Wollan, school superintendent, reported Wednesday morning. Total enrollment is 1,653. Senior high enrollment is down slightly at 409 with an increase shown at the junior high school, 421 students are enrolled. First grade classes are the largest in the elementary system with second grade being the smallest. Total elementary enrollment, grades 1 through 6, is 815, Wollan said.


75 years ago

Aug. 26, 1942

Hearings on naturalization applications were conducted Tuesday and Wednesday in the district courtroom of the Yellowstone county courthouse in Billings. John W. Keene of Spokane and District Judge Guy C. Derry of Billings were in charge of the sessions. Of the 35 resident aliens, 11 nationalities were slated to appear for examination. Of the Laurel candidates, Lucia DeCarlo was from Italy and those remaining were from Russia. They were Jacob Henry Kautz, Mary Manweiler, Conrad Ostwalt, Alexander Staber, Marie Elizabeth Fox and Conrad Lenhardt, Jr.

Carl George, Miss Dorothy Davenport and James Davenport, all of Laurel, drove Sunday to the ice cave in the Pryor mountains. George took a number of flashlight pictures of the cave interior. The cavern is one of the few of its kind in the world.

O.M. Wold was called to Helena Saturday to attend a conference on a state-wide collection of scrap metal needed for the production of war material. He returned to Laurel Tuesday.

Vern A. Neal, formerly employed in construction of Little Tokyo between Powell and Cody, Wyo., is now employed in a government construction project at Casper.

P.J. Law returned to Laurel Tuesday from Helena, where he had spent four days and enlisted in the navy. He will remain here while waiting for instructions.

The selective service drops class 1-B; defectives are now considered fit for service. Thereafter all registrants not totally disqualified will be reclassified in class I-A and the army will decide, after induction, on their individual assignment to full or limited military service. Registrants found unsuited for any military service will be placed in class IV-F.

Among the 69 men registered with the draft board who left Billings Sunday noon for physical examination and induction into the army at Butte, those from Laurel were Victor Michael, Paul H. Shively, Newton F. Mellenbrook, Jacob H. Herman, Benjamin F. Gum, Frank T. Gomez, Joe L. Castro and John L. Blackford.


100 years ago

Aug. 22, 1917

Laurel city officers have arrested a murder suspect near stockyards. The body of Karl Hinemann, whose home was at Baker City, Ore., was found Friday afternoon lying wrapped in bloody blankets on a hay rack by the side of the White Beaver road between Columbus and Reed Point by Mrs. William Olson. Mrs. Olson saw the wagon and horses there in the morning and when no one showed up she made an investigation to find Hinemann dead from blows received on the head by a blunt instrument that had crushed his skull. He and his companion spent Thursday in Columbus and had some blacksmith work done. As soon as the crime was discovered his companion was suspected of the murder and a description was sent out by the sheriff’s office of Columbus. He was trailed to Reed Point, where he crossed the river and went to the road grading camp on Countryman creek. There he disposed of about $30 worth of cured hams to the boss.He was driving two horses hitched to a spring wagon with a home-made box, so that he was easily traced. Deputy Sheriff F.M. Quinn was notified by telephone after midnight Saturday that he was headed to Laurel. Early Sunday Mr. Quinn, accompanied by Night Watchman Earnest Wilson, drove west of Laurel toward Park City looking for the man, but didn’t see anything. When they came back they noticed the team back of the corral and hid between a box car and the fence. After a brief conversation with the suspect he was brought to town and placed in jail. He gave his name as Mike Hansen and said that he was a Russian by birth. His true name was not given.

C.P. Linger took Frank Pierce to Park City from Coombs Flat for medical treatment. Mr. Pierce was badly hurt by a vicious horse. He was later taken to the hospital at Columbus.

Rev. W. H. Calvert of Philipsburg arrived in Laurel Monday evening for a short visit with his son, Campbell Calvert, and family. He left the following day for Billings, where the annual Montanan conference of the Methodist church convened and will be in session the remainder of the week. He stated that conditions were very quiet at Philipsburg at the present time, due to the strike of some 400 metal mine workers and that all the mines had been forced to shut down. The trouble, he said, was attributed primarily to activities of the I.W.W.s.

The men who have been drafted for service in the present war are to be recognized for their heroic sacrifices by the management of the Casino theater of Laurel by using of one night’s revenue for the purchase of comforts for the future soldiers. the evening will be further marked by an appropriate program, in which the booster girls have been requested to assist. There is to be more than one consignment of men to leave Laurel and the proceeds of the evening which will be on or about September 1, will be divided evenly and the small comforts, such as tobacco, fruits, etc., which are so appreciated by men far from home, will be purchased and presented to each consignee.


Upcoming Events

Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Fourth Tuesdays, 7 p.m., Eagles Hall, 313 W. Main, 628-4503
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check www.laurelexchangeclub.org for more info. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/laurelexchangeclub . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: clubinfo@laurelexchangeclub.org The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Wednesday, July 3, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961


Are you going to buy any firefighter’s raffle tickets to support the 4th of July fireworks show?

The Laurel Outlook


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